Our aim is to refine the 'traditional' model of footpad immunisation and infection in order to improve animal welfare. We will use a combination of immunological and cutting-edge imaging methods to define the key parameters associated with the administration of antigens, cells or parasites in the dorsal aspect to the foot, comparing it to the established footpad model. We will also assess development of Leishmania infection at this alternative site to establish whether parasite growth and ease of monitoring lesion development are comparable. Critically, we will use a combination of methods to assess any improvement in animal welfare in order to determine whether our proposal truly represents a refinement to currently used methods.
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